Over the past two days, ESPN hosted all 14 head coaches from the SEC and ran them through a gauntlet of media appearances that the “Worldwide Leader” calls a “car wash”.
Tuesday was Will Muschamp’s chance to get squeaky clean as he took a ride through the ESPN “car wash.” Gator Country followed the Florida head coach throughout his day in Bristol.
- Skip Bayless asked Will Muschamp about the Gators psyche because, he [Bayless] felt that even with Florida only losing one game in-conference, the perception was that Florida was an “also-ran” in the SEC. Muschamp responded, “I don’t really know about my psyche, I worry about our football team and I know we gained a lot of confidence from last year. We’re really excited about how things have come together as far as our roster is concerned and where our locker room is right now. We’re at a good place; we didn’t end the season the way we wanted to in the Sugar Bowl. Obviously we didn’t play or coach very well, but that’s certainly been a motivating factor in the offseason for us.”
- Muschamp told the First Take crew that he likes where the roster is and that he feels really good about where his football team is right now. Muschamp was questioned about Urban Meyer’s allegations that Florida was illegally recruiting and responded with a smile on his face saying, “Well, obviously they’ve had their share of brushes recently. In both situations, we didn’t do anything wrong and we appreciate them checking in on us to make sure we’re doing things right.”
- Ohio State commonly refers to itself as “The Ohio State University” and Muschamp was asked if he took a page out of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke’s book by calling them simply, “Ohio.” Muschamp smiled and said he has always been a fan of Brady Hoke.
- Muschamp said he was disappointed in Antonio Morrison’s decision making but stressed that Morrison was a “great young man who was raised right” and that he just “had some poor judgment.” (These statements were made before the charges against Morrison were officially dropped by the State Attorney)
- Muschamp said he is worried about the situation at tight end.
- Muschamp praised Jeff Driskel for all the improvements he has made, both mentally and physically, this offseason.
- When asked who he would pick to “win it all” this year, Muschamp replied with a straight face and said, “I pick the Florida Gators.”
Muschamp’s next stop was a 1-on-1 sit down with Chris Fowler for an interview on SportsCenter.
- Fowler’s first question was about Antonio Morrison. Muschamp said that Morrison has been suspended from all team activities but that he will be back for fall camp. He again stressed that Morrison is a great young man that just made some poor decisions.
- Muschamp told Fowler that he would like Florida to have a more balanced offensive attack in 2013.
- When asked about Matt Jones, Muschamp said, “If I have it my way, they’ll know him very well.” Muschamp continued, “I’ve got a lot of confidence in Matt… we want 1,000-yard rushers to be the norm at Florida.”
- Muschamp singled out defensive tackle, linebacker and safety as three positions he is worried about on defense heading into fall camp.
SVP and Russilo Radio Show
The normal host of the show, Scott Van Pelt, was not in studio today as he was overseas covering the British Open for ESPN this past weekend. Former Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell was filling in for him today.
- Russilo asked if Muschamp gets tired of having to answer questions about Florida’s discipline history even before Muschamp was in Gainesville, specifically regarding Aaron Hernandez. Muschamp responded, “I really look at what can I control in a situation. That’s what I try to focus on. When you start getting outside your parameter of worrying about the things you have no control over, that’s what will drive you crazy. Obviously that’s a tragic situation with Aaron Hernandez. My thoughts and prayers are with the Lloyd family.”
- When asked by Kanell about Jeff Driskel’s limited responsibilities last season, Muschamp responded by saying he’s only concerned with one stat – winning football games.
- Muschamp said that freshman running back Kelvin Taylor has a “huge future at the University of Florida” but that there are still some things – namely pass protection – which Taylor needs to work on.
- Muschamp said that Matt Jones and Mack Brown would be first and second on the depth chart if the first game were today.
ESPN.com Chat with fans
- Muschamp changed his tune about the defense a little bit by saying that he came out of spring practice comfortable at linebacker and that safety was his major concern due to lack of snaps for the players at the position.
- Muschamp said Florida would use a lot of odd man fronts because of personnel on defense.
- Muschamp remains concerned as to how Florida will replace Caleb Sturgis.
College Football Live
This segment was filmed earlier in the day but taped and played at 3:30 p.m.
- Muschamp said that Jadeveon Clowney’s now infamous tackle from the Outback Bowl last season was a “great play” and that he thought it was a legal hit even under the new targeting rule that will come into play this upcoming season.
- Muschamp agreed with Steve Spurrier that football and basketball players should receive some kind of stipend for each game they play in college.
- Muschamp ended his day – fittingly – by fielding a question about former University of Florida head coach, Urban Meyer.
- “There are a lot of ways to handle a situation like that, and I don’t necessarily think that was the right way to handle it,” Muschamp said. “Urban has called and apologized for the situation and we’re moving forward.” Muschamp also added that in the same situation, he would have called the head coach before reporting anything.